Courage has traditionally been defined as a masculine virtue. There are also the more feminine aspects of courage. These can be recognised in the roots of the word. The French ‘corage’ means heart and spirit, and the Latin ‘cor’ means heart. Courage is always in touch with ‘conscience’ – it aims to re-align us with our truth and with our greatness.
Courage is about listening to one’s heart. It is the willingness to act beyond our limits; to not be ruled by our fear; to commit to life. It is a strength that comes from the core of our being; the strength to say “I can” and that it is possible. Courage is also about having faith in oneself and following ones inner knowing. It is an energy that supports us to be and do what we want to be and do. Courage is to let go of the idea that fear is real.
Courage moves us: from disheartenment to determination and having faith in ourselves; from resistance to acceptance; from judging to observing; from force to being power; from being critical to being positive.
1) Understand fear – Fear is destructive: it puts on the brakes; it prevents us from even beginning to go after our aim; it blocks communication and self-expression; it makes us indecisive; it makes us hide and repress the best in ourselves. It shrinks our world.
What is behind fear? Fear is connected with loss and with moving out of comfort zones. Take fear of failure, for example, this maybe a fear of making mistakes/ taking risks/ making decisions/ of not being acknowledged- here there is a fear of losing one’s reputation or of losing face. The fear of our comfort zones is the fear of our self image; to step out of this is to risk no longer knowing who we are. This can be paralysing.
Another fear is of success / fear of our own greatness (potential). This can seem scary too as we have become used to living in ‘fear’- it means moving out of this comfort zone- as to emerge our potential we have to let go of the things we have made our supports.
First is to acknowledge our fear, second to look it in the face and third to act all the same. The only method to dissolve fear is to do that which you are afraid of. When we act we find that our fear lessens until it has no power.
2) Believe in yourself and in life- To believe in our own ability to perform right / positive actions and to trust in life (that the help you need to achieve your aims will come to you as and when you need it). Trust enables us to face uncertainties and learn from our mistakes. To take a step of courage is to put faith and trust into action.
3) Love yourself- Give yourself permission to be brave, to shine, to express your potential. To protect our heart, we have hidden them, imprisoned them, shielded them behind resentment and anger. However, this stops courage. Courage comes from our heart (cor).
In meditation we can strengthen our hearts and also begin to let go of the shields that we have created – to let go without judgment. We can cultivate a brave, awake and transparent heart; one full of good feelings and truth. This makes us feel stronger and more whole.